The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas was a sneaky success in 2013, especially in the United States. As Australia's Courtney Barnett continued to tour and pick up critical acclaim, it was only a matter of time before her next album would turn from a new release to a "much-anticipated" new release. This week, Barnett announced her much-anticipated new album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, is out on March 24 via Mom + Pop. "Pedestrian At Best" is the album's first single and hasn't lost any steam from Split Peas.
Last November, Arcade Fire's Will Butler announced his first solo record, Policy. As with many other people, I initially read Win Butler, the lead singer of Arcade Fire and Will's brother, and thought, "Whoa, this should be interesting." But upon realizing that it was indeed Will Butler's debut I wasn't disappointed, it just changed my expectations. I wouldn't be hearing Win's croon, but instead would hear what the Academy Award-nominated Will - that's not a typo, he was nominated with Owen Pallett for Best Original Score for Her - would come up with.
"Anna" is all I've heard so far, and though the lyrics open with a pretty cheesy line - Hey little Anna you're the one, rising before the lazy sun - it's an undoubtedly infectious tune that's much less awkward that Butler's undulating dance moves. But hey, I dig it and, you can dance if you want to.
Speaking of dancing, Operators released their first new single since last summer's EP 1. Most likely, "Ecstasy In My House" will be on their promised debut LP, but maybe it's just a single in between projects. Nonetheless, it's close to capturing the entrancing energy of their live show, and any new tune that brings me back to last August is welcomed.
On our way to Pitchfork Music Festival last summer, we made a pit stop in Madison, Wisconsin to meet up with friends and enjoy a beautiful night on the University of Wisconsin's Memorial Union Terrace. The night was highlighted with a performance from Sharon Van Etten, and opening for Van Etten was Jana Hunter of Lower Dens. Hunter was playing solo with her guitar, but had fully-produced backing tracks for every tune, which makes me wonder if "To Die In L.A." was one of the many songs we heard debuted that night, since Hunter herself produced their new record, Escape From Evil, which is out on March 31.
LIVE: Dave Dondero
There's a last-minute treat at Total Drag on Saturday night. Accomplished singer/songwriter Dave Dondero is sharing his music with Sioux Falls and tickets are only $10. NPR's Bob Boilen sums up Dondero as "... the sound of a man on fire. Smart, funny and honestly out of his mind; but he comes back long enough to sing about it. One of the best singer/songwriters I've ever heard."